It is normal to compare.
It’s one of the main reasons why social media is so addictive.
Who has the best house? The most Instagram-worthy food? The most luxurious vacation, the cutest pet, the best body, the shiniest hair?
Anyone (everyone) who has ever been on the move and felt lacking in any (all) departments knows that comparing yourself to others is often not a pleasant experience.
However, start doing it with your relationships and you will lose more than pride and ego.
This week UK sex expert Tracey Cox reveals why being envious of other people’s partners will leave you dissatisfied and resentful for no reason. stock image
Comparison is the thief of joy
This saying has been around for years, for good reason.
Figuring out where we are in the scheme of things can sometimes be productive. Wanting someone else’s job, for example, can prompt us to work harder and try to get that promotion.
Loving someone else’s partner only makes us feel dissatisfied and resentful, often for no good reason.
Here’s why you shouldn’t envy other people’s relationships.
They are never what they seem…
There is another negative side to any positive quality. The guy you admire for being so free and spontaneous is rarely on time and can’t commit to anything. He Is he manly and takes charge? He could also be misogynistic and controlling. What he attracts us to in the beginning, many times he repels us in the end.
It could be a front. Many women who have been victims of domestic abuse had lovely partners.
It is not unusual for friends to disbelieve their victims when they find the courage to speak up. He wouldn’t do that! He is not like that! He’s funny and smart!’. The public and private face of someone can be completely different.
Tracey reveals what you can do when you’re consumed by fits of envy.
Some people are great friends but terrible companions. You are a little in love with your friend’s husband who flirts a little, she is interested, she compliments you and makes you laugh. If only you could have it to yourself. Now imagine what it’s like to be with a man who pays too much attention to your friends…
What you see is clouded by what you think you’re missing. If her husband sits on the couch and watches sports all weekend, the husband outside mowing the lawn and playing with her kids will look very attractive. This can blind you to other factors. You can treat your children well but ignore your wife.
We take our own partners for granted. We notice the things that bother us, but we often overlook the everyday things our partner does to make our day better. The magically appearing teacups. The station elevator. Don’t be one of those couples who sit across from each other with nothing to say. Bring daffodils along with milk and bread.
Look through your partner’s eyes for the positive, and you’re likely to see many ways they show love without wanting something in return.
Many people regret trading ‘up’. The richer and more successful version of your current partner is also likely to be a workaholic. You get the spoils of success, but you don’t have a partner to enjoy it.
Do you still feel pangs of envy?
Write down the qualities you admire in the person you long to be with. Be realistic. Is your current partner capable of achieving these things? Would they even want to?
Envying other people’s relationships can sometimes mean that you have outgrown your partner. If this is the case, an honest conversation about what you both want out of life is long overdue.
I LOVE YOUR HUSBAND
Julianne, married with a child, longs for a husband like David. (Both names have been changed.)
“I always look at David and compare him unfavorably to my own husband. David rowed for his university (of course). He has muscular calves and big shoulders and walks with determination. My husband works in an office and he has that “I’ve been hunched over a computer” thing. He doesn’t exercise and he should.
Looking at David, you can tell that he is successful. His clothes are not designer, but everything he wears is elegant, well cut and well made. My husband stays slim but he rarely takes his jeans off. He dresses just like any other man in his late forties.
But it’s the way David deals with things that’s so impressive. He’s the one we send to try to get us a table at a restaurant on impulse, when you usually have to book a month in advance. It is always successful. My husband wouldn’t know where to start. It’s his competition, complete dominance over any situation, the way he assumes he’ll get his way because he always does. He is not pushy or cheeky. He is calm, friendly, handsome and a doer. That’s a dynamite combination.
I’m used to taking two people. I am the maker of our relationship, the boss, the person who makes all the decisions. I’m a control freak, he’s not. He works, but I often wonder: What would it be like to have a husband who took control and you never had to double check what he did? That’s damn attractive to most women.
I’m not the only one who wants David as a husband. It’s a running joke among the women in our group that he’s the one we’d all trade our partners for. We say this in front of his wife who is not in the least threatened. That’s the other thing that’s so attractive about him. He knows that he could have affairs, but he doesn’t.
Do not misunderstand. I love my husband. He is kind, funny and very affectionate. I think we all desire or yearn for other people’s partners in some way. I told a friend that I was being interviewed about this and she told me that she loved MY husband.
Her partner is quite picky and controlling and always listens to her in the things she does. She sees my husband as laid back and easy to live with. She thinks he’s fun, not image-obsessed and spontaneous. If I look at it through his eyes, I can see it. You always want what you don’t have.
I LONGED FOR MY FRIEND’S PARTNER – AND IT ALMOST COST EVERYTHING
Jodie, 36, had been married for 17 years when she met Stacy and her husband John. (All names changed.)
‘I started with my husband in our teens. At 25 we had two children. We loved them and we loved each other. Sex was never really our thing, but we didn’t know any different, so we got confused. I would have said he was 9/10 happy.
THE HUSBANDS THAT NOBODY WANTS
Absolutely no one is lining up to take this guy…
The one who belittles his wife in front of everyone.
The one who hardly recognizes his children.
The one who is cheating.
The one who lies
The one who secretly accumulates a huge debt.
The one who has a drug or alcohol abuse problem.
The one who mistreats verbally or physically.
My husband worked with his father, who ran a local real estate company. There were a lot of dinners with clients, but I didn’t mind because he had a lot of friends to hang out with. So his dad asked him to open an office outside of town. We moved and my support system disappeared. My husband worked all the time trying to make it and I felt desperately alone.
Eventually, I made friends with a woman at my gym. Her husband, who worked in IT, worked from home. I liked him from the beginning and the three of us started dating. My husband didn’t even meet my new friends for four months. The few times he was home, he said that he wanted to spend it only with me.
John and my husband are opposites. Stacy works and he helps with the kids, cooks and does a lot of “girly” things. I couldn’t help but compare. I was the traditional ‘wife’, my husband was the breadwinner. I never questioned if that suited me or not. Now I did. Every time I spent time with the couple, I wanted her life and not my own.
I started fantasizing about John, imagining him as my husband. I would dream of getting a great job and having a relationship like theirs. In my fantasy, my husband and his wife just disappeared, there was no evil. We just broke up together and we lead an idyllic life.
What started as a harmless dream turned strange. I became obsessive. I talked about him to my husband endlessly. All he did was ask if his wife was there too and I would say yes; he clearly thought, nothing to worry about then.
She was always there, but competed for his attention when he was around, and she would comment on it. ‘Are you flirting with my husband?’ she asked, laughing at first. He would only look embarrassed but, I fooled myself, also secretly pleased. I had both their numbers and one day I took a rash risk and texted him and asked if he wanted to have a drink, just him and me.
He didn’t answer, he just showed it to his wife. She called out to me, furious, asking me what the hell she was doing. She also called my husband and told him what had happened.
I was shocked. All I did was ask him for a drink. But we all knew that she was in love with him, and everything fell apart. They told me never to go near them again. That meant making up a story for my children, who had become close to their children. They told their children the truth, so my children found out quickly too.
My husband came home immediately and was devastated by my potential betrayal. He kept saying, ‘What happened to you? Aren’t you? What is happening?’ and crying. We are still together and we have counseling to figure it all out. I’m hopeful, but even though nothing physical happened, the intent to cheat was there for all to see. My husband knows it and my children know it.’
Listen to Tracey’s podcast, sextok with Tracey and Kelsey, at sextokpod.com or wherever you get your podcasts.